What is an Animal Assisted Therapist?

An animal assisted therapist typically works with a therapy dog in many types of settings, such as private homes, nursing homes, hospitals, and correctional facilities. Horses, cats, pigs, dolphins, and birds can also be used in a treatment plan.

Animals help clients with a multitude of things they need help with, such as improving self-esteem, help for anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, and developing social skills.

An animal assisted therapist working with a therapy dog and a child within a hospital setting.

A study has shown a significant drop in stress hormones and adrenaline and an increase in health and social inducing hormones such as oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins after 20 minutes with a therapy dog.

An animal assisted therapist can help children with behavioural issues and the elderly with dementia and depression. With the presence of the therapy animal, a purely nonjudgemental space for individuals to work out their problems is provided.

Are you suited to be an animal assisted therapist?

Animal assisted therapists have distinct personalities. They tend to be social individuals, which means they’re kind, generous, cooperative, patient, caring, helpful, empathetic, tactful, and friendly. They excel at socializing, helping others, and teaching. Some of them are also investigative, meaning they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if animal assisted therapist is one of your top career matches.

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